Early Entry Offer ends with 9 drivers taking advantage

So far the entry list has drivers from 5 different countries and three different Radical Racing regions.

Reigning 2018/19 Champion Jani Hjerppe, vice Champion Ian Roberts and third overall from last season Jeff Curtis have all completed their entries for the 2019/20 season.

Top UK Team Valour Racing have entered Kasper Jenson, who is currently racing in the UK Cup, with another Danish driver Nicholas Francis coming through.

Here is how it looks so far:

4 - Jeff Curtis GBR - D5 Racing Team

7 - Ian Roberts GBR - GulfSport Racing

8 - Steve Adams AUS - GulfSport Racing

17 - Jani Hjerppe FIN - Dream Racing

26 - Sean Simpson RSA - Dream Racing

55 - Fran Cush/Neil Clark GBR - GulfSport Racing

80 - Kasper Jenson DEN - Valour Racing

96 - Nicholas Francis DEN

Discussions are in progress with other repeat drivers and some more new faces, with the tyre offer expiring end of August more entries are expected over the next few weeks.

Online entry form can be found here and more information can be found here.

Virage Confirm LMP3 Prize for 2019/20

Virage team boss Philippe Gautheron was delighted to confirm the offer of an LMP3 test for the 2019/20 Gulf Radical Cup Vice Champion.

Just a few months ago it was Ian Roberts who took this amazing prize. He later commented:

“At the start of last season I told myself that if by any chance I managed to win one of the two prizes offered by Gulf Radical Cup/GulfSport I would decline, but by the end of the season I was excited and ready for the chance to try the LMP3 car.

I have been a fan (observer) of motor racing my whole life, and never dreamed that I would have the chance to drive one of these cars. The fact that I did have the opportunity, and more importantly the skill, was simply mind blowing.”

If you havnt’t seen it, here is the video

Gulf Radical coordinator Fred Jacobs added:

“The Gulf Radical Cup has really been able to open the doors of high level European prototype racing and the UK Radical Cup with these prizes on offer. For many, its a dream to drive a car like this LMP3, but Ian Roberts (who never expected it) realised that dream last season. I hope more take that on board and come racing with us this season.”

Radical UK shows continued support for the Gulf Radical Cup

Following a meeting with GulfSport’s Barry Hope at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (where Radical were launching their new trackday car the Rapture) and Radical’s CEO Joe Anwyll, an agreement was made to continue to offer a free set of tyres to all entries into the GRC that are completed before the 31st August. In addition to this the 2020 GRC Champion will again be given the chance to race at Silverstone in a fully funded drive with the works team. A prize that D5 Racing’s Jeff Curtis and James Edmeades are taking up this season.

Check out this awesome lap from Silverstone - https://youtu.be/xkrXdjOotSc

Anwyll added:

“In the 12 months since GulfSport Racing was reappointed as our UAE distributor, Radical has been delighted with the continuing development of the Gulf Radical Cup as a key element of our ‘Race The World’ global championship concept. The 2019-2020 calendar sees a fantastic spread of events across Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the timing of the calendar couldn’t be better for European and North American racers looking to continue their on-track fun through the winter. We look forward to seeing even more cars on the grid including brand-new SR3s, challenging for a fantastic roster of prizes which include a Works drive at Silverstone in the UK.”

Prospective drivers are reminded to take advantage of the early entry offer, seeing full season entry fees reduced, if fully paid before the 31st July, so not far away! With this and the tyre offer it effectively takes the net fee down to AED 31,180 (+vat) for all seven events, once you take your set of free tyres at the first event.

Online entries can be completed by clicking Here and to read more about the season click Here.

Amir Feyzulin and Konstantin Tatulov battle at the last race of the season in Dubai

Amir Feyzulin and Konstantin Tatulov battle at the last race of the season in Dubai





First two entries confirmed!

With GRC entries opening in only the last couple of weeks, entries for the 2019/20 season are already coming in, and the first two are confirmed.

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Steve Adams was the first to confirm for the season. Living in Australia but frequently traveling to the Dubai, Steve last raced in the UAE back in 2009 in the UAE GT Championship in his beautifully prepared Porsche 944.

When asked about his prior racing career he gave this rather modest reply:

“My racing history is not very exciting so sorry not much to say.  I did some Formula Vee and Formula Ford in Australia in the late 80s, I did a Formula 2000 series in Canada in 1999. The next and last time I raced was 2009 and 2010 UAE GT series in the Porsche 944. Basically, I seem to go racing about once every decade, so it’s about time again…”

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Steve bought his Consult Aero liveried SR3 a few months back and has been testing with GulfSport Racing since then, he has shown good pace and for sure will be a contender for the top spots this coming season.

Next to confirm this entry is the 2019/20 Gulf Radical Cup Vice Champion Ian Roberts. Ian recently completed his prize from last season testing an LMP3 in Spain. Ian showed very strong pace all season last year, so he is for sure a strong contender for the title this year.

2019/20 Entries Open

After a successful 2018/19 season the next one is sure to be just as competitive and enjoyable for drivers and teams alike.

Hoping to seal the deal this season is D5 Racing’s Jeff Curtis:

“Last year brought a higher calibre of drivers to the Gulf Radical Cup and we maintained 2nd place most of the way through the championship until our DNF whilst fighting for first place in the last race, our only DNF in 2 years of racing!”

While some other series organisers are scaling back what they do in the UAE, the GRC has added an additional round to the series, making 14 races at 7 events (4 at Yas and 3 in Dubai). As usual the season kicks off on the full GP circuit at Yas. With 14 cars on the grid at the event last year, we expect to better that.

Fantastic end of season awards are again expected to be offered by main partner Radical Sportscars in the form of a free set of tyres for all entries made before the end of August, and a fantastic fully funded race event at Silverstone for the 2020 GRC Champion. Interestingly, while this award was handed to last season's Champion Jani Hjerpi, it will be the D5 pairing of Curtis and Edmeades who are headed to Silverstone, as Hjerpi will not be available to take the prize.

Jeff added:

“After receiving the news that we had been awarded a manufactures drive at Silverstone courtesy of GulfSport Racing and Radical UK both James and I were ecstatic. James my driver coach and co-driver will of course accompany me, so I am very much hoping to do myself justice on a particularly, challenging, technical and fast paced circuit. I am very much looking forward to racing on the British Formula One track where many of the greats have tested their grit, and only hope i can do it justice.”

Looking to come back this season is North Motorsport. Sam North said in a recent interview:

“Last season’s Gulf Radical Cup was North Motorsport’s first full competitive season. With a second place finish and some strong performances in podium positions, it is clear that the pace to complete for the championship is there. The car showed great reliability, enabling drivers (Sam North and Hugh Smith) to focus on getting speed out of the car. We hope to be back next season and achieve even better results!”

An event was initially pencilled in for Bahrain in December, but due to very high circuit costs at the BIC it has been removed. The GRC is in talks with the management of the new KMT circuit in Kuwait, and its hoped that a visit there is on the cards.

Entries now open! Please click here to read more detailed information about this season and click here to see the online entry form. Despite increasing circuit fees from the DA and Yas, the pro rata rate entry fee made as a whole season entry is only AED 231 more than last season, even though the Thursday afternoon test is now included in the entry fee.

Roberts Completes LMP3 Test

Gulf Radical Cup Vice Champion completed with prize LMP3 test with Virage Racing last week in Valencia, Spain.

After day with the team on their simulator and with a seat fitting Roberts took to the track.

Ian was able after the first day able to get with in 3 seconds of a seasoned LMP3 driver, but still getting to grips with the immense power and grip.

During the test Ian commented - “Having lots of fun! Lost my fear of the car, but still respect it. Now within 3 seconds of the fast boys and still chasing. Thank you GulfSport Racing and GRC for arranging the most amazing drive for me.”

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Final Race Report

As the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup draws to a close the top three spots were still very much up for grabs!

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Testing took place in good conditions on the Thursday with Finnish pairing of Jani Hjerppi and Seppo Mantyla setting the pace with a 1.26.384 and then James Edmeades setting the pace with1.25’s on Friday morning on a faster track. Ian Roberts and Sergey Shalunov also posted times in the 1.25’s and 1.26’s so it was shaping up to be a competitive weekend.

As the teams and drivers woke for race day they were greeted with rain! However the circuit seemed to have been spared the worst of it and the track was dry for Q1. Jani Hjerppe took the Pole with a 1.25.111. Just 0.09 behind him was Sergey Shalunov, and third Sean Simpson. With only a five minute gap it was straight back out for Q2, this time Shalunov had a point to prove by setting the exact same blistering time within a thousandth of a second of his Q1 lap a great demonstration of consistency.

So Hjerppe lined up with Shalunov next to him as they raced off into turn one in a cloud of dust. Hjerppe managed to retain his lead with Shalunov and Simpson right behind him. Having missed the previous event Hjerpee went into this race with no pit penalty, while Shalunov having won the last race had the maximum 15 seconds.  Roberts was in 4th right up the exhaust of Simpson, finding it tricky to get passed, so Roberts pitted as soon as the pitstop window opened. Simpson had a slow pitstop allowing Roberts past. 

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After all the pitstops were complete and the timesheets settled, it was Mantyla leading from Roberts, Shalanov and James Edmeades had moved up to 4th. With a 16 second gap between the two lead cars it looked like it was going to come down to the wire with Roberts taking 1 to 2 seconds a lap out of the leader. However just 5 laps from the end of the race Mantyla made a mistake allowing Roberts and Shalunov to get within 0.5 of a second. Roberts applied all the pressure that he could to get past, and when entering the club link Mantyla braked too late running wide, also allowing Shalunov past. In the mean time D5’s Edmeades had joined the party and he was desperate to deny the Finnish pairing the last step on the podium. Just on the last lap the D5 car got great drive out of turn 8, forcing through on the inside of turn 9. But it was GulfSport Racing’s two drivers Roberts and Shalunov having faultless drives to take a great first and second.

With double points for the last two rounds of the Gulf Radical Cup, all Jani Hjerppe needed to do was finish 5th to claim the title, but it was still wide open for 2nd and 3rd.

Starting on Pole for race 2 was Shalunov, however the sun was really not shining on him and when the team came to start his car before the race, nothing! This left the team franticly try to get it started. Motorsport can be cruel and this was cruelty at its best, given that it had run faultlessly only a few hours before.

So with the top spot of the grid empty it allowed D5’s James Edmeades to take the lead.

A few laps in and as Ian Roberts tried to pass the North Racing car driven by Hugh Smith they went side by side in to the club link, with Smith remaining in front. But into turn 16 Roberts took his chance from a fair way back, unfortunately clipping the back of the North Racing car sending them both in to a spin. The North Racing car coming to a permanent rest on the edge of the track, so the safety car had to be deployed. The packed bunched up depriving Edmeades of the lead he had built up!

Under the Safety Car for only two laps, racing started once again. Edmeades kept his lead and was keen to build it back up as much as he could going into the pit stops.

Meanwhile Ian Roberts was being served a drive-through penalty for his contact with the North Racing car earlier in the race, but unbelievably he had a buddy serving it with him by the name of Jani Hjerppe, having confused Ian's race number of 7 for his number of 17. Needless to say, there were dropped jaws a plenty in the pitlane as both cars cruised passed the teams!

Jeff Curtis had taken over the D5 car in a quick pit stop, but on lap 19 he did not emerge. He had stopped out the back with a transmission issue. This handed the lead to Simpson who had been keeping out of trouble and was putting in fast and consistent laps. 

Roberts was now charging from the back eventually getting back to 3rd place, but it was Simpson taking the honours with a fantastic win.

So after the points had been calculated it was Hjerppe being crowned as the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup Champion and being awarded a fully funded race weekend at Silverstone in August with the Radical Factory Team. Vice Champion was Ian Roberts who will be off to Valencia for a fully funded test with Virage Racing in their Ligier LMP3 car.

However Simpson and Curtis/Edmeades were drawn for 3rd each with 168 points. As per the series regulations for a tie it’s all down to series wins, but both with 1 win each, its down to fastest laps - and that goes to the pairing of Curtis and Edmeades.

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So amazing prizes, great venues and a great season of racing with 22 amateur drivers scoring points in the country's longest running sportscar championship. 

2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup - The Final Race

Amazing Awards for Gulf Radical Cup

The two most successful drivers/driver pairings of the UAE’s 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup, a one-make sportscar championship for ‘gentlemen drivers’ which completes on the 22nd March will be awarded amazing fully funded drives.

Dubai based GulfSport Racing, who started the Gulf Radical Cup in 2006 is the official representative of Radical Sportscars Ltd, now the world’s largest sports racing car manufacturer. The Radical SR8LM set the Nurburgring track record in 2009 at an astonishing 6 minutes and 48 seconds in the hands of Michael Vergers, who drove the car to Germany from the factory in Peterborough!

Its still tight at the top of the points table, even with Jani Hjerppi healthy lead of 45 points (after using the drop score allowance), there are still a potential 106 points available going into the last round, given that it's double points for both races.

Series Coordintaor Fred Jacobs said - “Its been a really enjoyable season, with some great racing. The atmosphere has been fantastic, and while I think it will continue, I get the feeling its going to get a little serious for this last event.”

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Radical Sportscars has offered a fully funded factory drive at the biggest race weekend of the year at Silverstone on the 17/18th August - one of the world’s most iconic race circuits, where a Dubai based driver will get to compete on level terms with the UK’s best racers. This award will go to the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup Champion.

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Valencia based Team Virage, one of the front runners in various European GT and Sportscar Racing championships has offered a fully funded sim training and test day in an Le Mans Prototype LMP3 (5 litre V8 420bhp Ligier JSP3) - the next step to the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans for the ambitious Radical racer. This award will go to the Vice Champion of the Gulf Radical Cup.

For information about the 2019/20 Gulf Radical Cup, which is open to amateur racers driving the two-seater slicks and wings Radical SR3, contact info@gulf-sport.com

Round 9 & 10 - Race Report

Going into the penultimate round of the Gulf Radical Cup, series leader Jani Hjerppe was not in attendance, this gave a great chance for those hot on his heals to edge closer. However, bad luck and weather had its own ideas!

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Sergey Shalunov showed his pace in free practice on the Thursday, but as the field rolled out to Q1 his car had developed a gremlin overnight, with the team spending next 30 mins frantically trying to resolve the issue Sergey was unable to post a time. However the flying Ian Roberts snuck in an impressive 1.27.119 in the tough damp and dusty conditions to take pole.

For Q2, the rain came down, and with a few delays and stoppages the session finished with Ben Freer posting a pole time of 1.43.213. For all it was just a question of survival being out on a wet track on slicks. But all cars returned home safely!

In the meantime it was looking like Shalunov car was fixed and he would start Race 1 from the back of the grid.

So, Ian Roberts started the race on pole but it was Hugh Smith got a great start to lead away. Unbelievably Shalunov’s issues had not gone away with him pulling in on lap one.

Ben Freer ran off track on the first lap with Jeff Curtis and Sean Simpson taking advantage and slipping past. After numerous attempts to get passed, Simpson spun off shorty after making a great overtaking move on the quick Curtis, losing Simpson some 20 seconds.

With a stall in the pit stop for Sam North, they lost some 30 seconds struggling to restart, handing the lead to Roberts. This left James Edmeades chasing down Roberts right to the finish line. But Roberts was comfortable and was able to maintain a gap to take the chequered flag!

Ben Freer also had a comfortable and controlled race after his time off track in the first few corners of the opening lap, Simpson fought back after the pitstop and managed to overtake Sam North and finish 4th.

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The following day the weather was completely different a cool, clear, but windy 20 degrees. Shalunov now with his issue resolved, would again start at the back of the grid. Freer who has set a pole time in tough conditions the previous day was called away to work, so the whole grid bumped up one place leaving Sean Simpson on the pole. The race got underway and Shalunov had a point to prove, going to the outside he took a risk on the dusty part of the track to overtake making his way to the lead. Amazingly he was in the lead by the end of lap 1 but being chased by Sean Simpson. Matching each other for a few laps in the mid 1m27s’s, Sergey reacted with a couple of 1m25’s to put some fresh air between them. Meanwhile James Edmeades, Ian Roberts latched onto the back of Simpson and the three were covered by less than a second up until the mid race pitstops.

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Ian pitted as soon as the window opened to allow him to re enter the track in free air, while Edmeads hung on to the last moment before coming in to hand the car over the his team mate Jeff Curtis. Meanwhile Shalunov had pitted, and re entered the track with a clear lead out front. As the timesheets started to settle after all the pit stops it was Shalunov from Smith followed by Simpson in third, but with charging Roberts (who had a 15 sec pit penally from his race 1 win) was close behind. However on lap 18, Roberts lost control of the car while chasing down Smith. The race finished with Shalunov taking a perfect start to finish win, followed by Sam North/Hugh Smith and Sean Simpson in third. 

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However it was not quite over!

During the race, race control had indicated that two cars were under investigation for pit lane speeding infringements and race winner Shalunov was under investigation for running off track at the start of the race. The podium went ahead, but with a slightly tighter grip on the trophies than normal given the impeding decisions from the stewards. 

In the end both pit lane infringements were overturned, due to inaccurate radar readings, so no further action taken. 

However, Shalunov was given a 10 penalty for gaining an advantage at the start of the race. But with the large lead that he had built up in the race he managed to hold onto his well deserved win! 

Finally the Smith/North car was also reported to the stewards for being 5kg under the minimum weight at the end of the race, but luckily for them they had also performed brilliantly in the race and just held onto their second place after also being handed a 10 second penalty.

The final round takes place at the Dubai Autodrome on the 22nd of March where the crown will be decided!

Round 7 & 8 - Yas Marina Circuit

Victory for British and Australian Drivers in Gulf Radical Cup.

The D5 Racing pairing of Jeff Curtis and James Edmeades took victory in a spectacular race that saw Vice Champion Sergey Shalanov retire on lap 3 with a technical issue and pole sitter Ian Roberts lose the lead on the penultimate lap.

With the customary sportscar rolling start Roberts took full advantage of his P1 grid position to hold the lead into turn 1 from Hjerrpe and Shalanov, then maintained his advantage whilst watching his competitors jockeying for position in his mirrors. On lap 19 the drivers started to come into the pits for their mandatory pit stop, the result of which Roberts increased his lead. But in the second half of the race it was a now a newcomer to the series, the experienced Australian racer Yasser Shahin who started to get much larger in those small, vibrating mirrors!

Both cars arrived nose to tail into the last corner of the penultimate lap but it was Shahin came through first, albeit slowing with body damage after making contact with Roberts. But as both cars scrambled to recover they were caught by the number 17 car driven by Aalerud and the number 4 car now being driven by James Edmeades. As Shahin tried to drive his broken car he inadvertently blocked Robert’s path to Turn 1 and it was Edmeades at the back of the group that found the best line past the other three cars to take the lead which he held to the finish and victory!

The fastest lap of the race, 56.089 was set by South African driver Sean Simpson who shared with series returnee, Pakistan’s Usmaan Mughal to finish 4th. Trophies were presented by two-times 24Hours of Le Mans Winner, Tommy Erdos, who works with series organiser GulfSport Racing as their driver’s coach. After a stewards enquiry Shahin was handed a 3 place grid penalty for his contact with Roberts that ultimately lost Roberts his first win of the season.

Round 8 got off to an even more frenetic start with cars going 4 wide into turn 1 under the bright F1 lights. James Edmeades and Sergey Shalunov were on the front row and fought tooth and nail to command the race. But a mistake by Shalunov under braking meant that both car’s lost their advantage which allowed Yasser Shahin to take the lead which he held to the chequered flag. Ian Roberts was in second place followed by Jani Hjerppe, Hugh Smith, Shalunov, Feyzullin and Edmeades. This was one very fast train with the first 6 cars circulating on almost identical lap times separated by less than 4 seconds! The train shortened momentarily as Roberts spun across the damp grass at the last turn putting himself at the back of the train.

Yet again the mandatory pitstops changed things around with Shahin now closely followed by Shalunov and Aalerud. But Shalunov would lose his place due to a drive through penalty for the incident with Edmeades, and Mughal made his move up to 3rd place - an amazing performance from someone who last race a Radical some 8 years ago! So at the finish it was Shahin, Aalerud and Mughal on the podium with Shalunov in 4th setting the fastest lap in the process.